Sleeping in on the weekend can add years to your life

A recent study by Brigham and Women's Hospital has confirmed that sleep deprivation negatively impacts your work performance even when you do not feel tired

Previous studies have found a U‐shaped relationship between mortality and (weekday) sleep duration. We can't deposit zzzs over the weekend and expect to cash them out later.

Epidemiologist and cardiovascular doctor Franco Cappuccio at the University of Warwick in England, also not a member of the research team, said that the study "looks good" but that the authors missed a trick: "a full explanation of the possibility of daytime napping".

This new study is actually fairly revolutionary when it comes to sleep sciences.

The mortality rate among participants with short sleep during weekdays, but long sleep during weekends, did not differ from the rate of the reference group. In conclusion, short, but not long, weekend sleep was associated with an increased mortality in subjects 65 years.

Interestingly, people who slept too much, regularly hitting the hay for eight hours or longer a night, also had a worse mortality rate. Probably. But do I feel somewhat like human being again after two days of sleeping late?

Once factors such as gender, body mass index, smoking, physical activity and shift work, were taken into account, the results revealed that those under the age of 65 who got five hours of sleep or under that amount seven days a week had a 65 per cent higher mortality rate than those getting six or seven hours' sleep every day. The researchers believe that as we age, our need for sleep decreases.

Why short-short sleepers, as well as long-long sleepers, had higher-than-average mortality rates is not fully understood. Will the findings of this study motivate you to change your sleep habits. That, Dr Akerstedt said, was perhaps because older individuals got the sleep they needed.

Grandner urged the overworked and underslept not to view sleep as time lost.

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